In The News

Vehicle pollution multiplies in the environment, study finds

Scientists have found that for every particle of pollution directly produced by a vehicle, approximately ten times that amount of pollution is produced by the original particle’s reactions with its environment. Allen Robinson of Carnegie Mellon University collected air from Fort Pitt Tunnel, Pittsburgh, where about 61,000 vehicles pass daily. A tube through a tunnel ventilation slit introduced the vehicle emissions to a potential aerosol mass flow reactor, where hydroxyl radicals oxidized volatile organic compounds produced by the vehicles, mimicking reactions with the atmosphere. About ten times more secondary organic aerosols resulted post reaction versus primary organic aerosols, according to mass spectrometry.

Read More

India study: Public opinion trumps environmental regulations in causing change

Researchers at Harvard and the University of Chicago say that public opinion and action are more useful than governmental regulations for bringing about environmental change in some cases, according to Phys.org . They expand on the opinion in a study recently published in the journal American Economic Review . The researchers looked at the India nation’s data on air and water pollution at a city level. By looking at news trends and levels of civic engagement, they charted public actions on specific environmental issues. “We find that when it comes to enforcing its strong environmental regulations, India has a mixed track record,” said Michael Greenstone, economist at the University of Chicago and study co-author, to Phys.org.

Read More

UK's new space weather forecasting center opens to public

Sure, most folks are more concerned about the weather occurring within Earth’s atmosphere than the weather beyond it, but magnetic storms on the surface of the sun could interfere with terrestrial technology. The UK opened its first space weather forecasting center earlier this month in Exeter, Nature reported . Although the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre opened to the public on Oct. 8, the center has been working around the clock since May. The center will provide warnings about space weather that threatens important infrastructure. The center was developed after talks with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The U.S. agency wanted a complementary operation to support its Space Weather Prediction Center.

Read More